How to travel safely with your pets in the car

16 November 2023

Travelling with pets can make road trips or running errands a lot more enjoyable, but it can also be unsafe and distracting. Check out the pet safety tips below before you head out on your next drive with your furry friend.

Know your state rules

Brush up on your local road rules about travelling with pets in the car. Fines and demerit points can differ between states, so it's important to consult your state or territory's transport department for the most up-to-date info.

Accustom your pet to car rides

If your pet is not used to travelling in a car, start by taking them on short drives first and gradually increase the duration. This will help them get used to the motion of the car and reduce their anxiety during longer trips.

You can also make anxious pets feel more comfortable by:

  • keeping windows up and the aircon running
  • turning down music to low volumes
  • making frequent stops, and
  • speaking to your vet about motion sickness, if needed.1

Use a pet carrier

Small to medium sized pets can travel safely in a pet carrier, which depending on the product can double as a protective shell in a case of a collision. Restrain the carrier so it stays grounded while the vehicle is in motion.

How to choose a carrier


The carrier ideally needs to be spacious enough so your pet can stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

If possible, taking your pet to the store can be helpful when picking the most suitably sized carrier.


Ensure the carrier has good ventilation, with at least two sides featuring mesh or holes for air to flow through.


Consider choosing a sturdy and well-made carrier with a wire or hard plastic mesh that can withstand the weight of your pet.1 It might also be helpful to pick a carrier that's easy to clean in case of accidents.

Use pet restraints

Sometimes called pet seat belts or harnesses, pet restraints are a good alternative for larger pets. Find one that attaches to the car's seat belt low on your pet's back and not their neck and allows them to sit and lie down while wearing it.1

Try and choose restraints that have been crash tested to human standards, if possible.

Don't leave your pet alone in the car

Don’t leave your pet unattended in a car, especially during the warmer seasons. Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even if the windows are cracked open. Always take your pet with you when you leave the car.

Keep your car insurance up to date

Staying safe on the road also means preparing for the unexpected. At Suncorp we offer three levels of car insurance cover:

We also offer a range of optional covers for an additional cost, including lifetime new for old replacement, windscreen and window glass cover and Suncorp Roadside Assist.*

Get a Comprehensive Car Insurance quote

Please note that although Suncorp Car Insurance covers damage to vehicles and property, we don’t cover injury to or caused by pets. Read the PDS for full details about what is covered and not covered.

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*Suncorp Roadside Assist is an optional extra only available in conjunction with Suncorp comprehensive car insurance. There is no cover for Suncorp Roadside Assist during the first 24 hours of adding the cover. Terms, conditions and limits for coverage apply. For full details, please see the Terms and Conditions.

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.